Drugged drivers off the road after Wodonga police operation

TESTING TIMES: Police at a drug and alcohol site on the Bandiana Link. They conducted about 1500 tests on drivers over the four day operation. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE

TESTING TIMES: Police at a drug and alcohol site on the Bandiana Link. They conducted about 1500 tests on drivers over the four day operation. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE

POLICE have caught 16 drug and drink drivers during an intensive traffic operation in Wodonga.

Officers conducted more than 790 breath tests and about 700 drug tests in the city between Thursday and Sunday.

They detected 14 drug drivers, a drink driver, and a driver caught both drink and drug driving.

Two cars were impounded due to the drivers being unlicensed, and two were impounded for disqualified or suspended driving.

Officers also found 23 unregistered cars, a vehicle with false plates and 14 defect vehicles.

Sergeant Cameron Roberts said nearly everyone who drove through the booze and drug bus sites was drug tested.

“With the additional test kits and additional staff, we just had the philosophy of testing more people,” he said.

SATURATION: Senior Constable Owen Clarke said police had targeted a wide range of offences during the operation. Picture: BLAIR THOMSON

SATURATION: Senior Constable Owen Clarke said police had targeted a wide range of offences during the operation. Picture: BLAIR THOMSON

“The testing volume went right up.

“Given the effort that went in, I think it was certainly a very good outcome.

“There were a number of people we caught up with who needed to be caught up with for one reason or another.”

Sergeant Roberts said one in every 50 drivers had tested positive to drugs. 

“Our average strike rate is about one in three,” he said. 

“We had a lot of test kits at our disposal and we really maximised the drug testing over the period of a few days.”

Senior Constable Owen Clarke said Wodonga officers were joined from police from Melbourne.

“It’s a very high rotation of intensive drug enforcement in the area,” he said.

“We want to make it that the people who are affected by drugs think about it and chose not to drive.”

The drug and alcohol bus operates in the area several times a year. 

Senior Constable Clarke said there were about 20 police involved in the operation each day. 

“It's a high intensity, very dense concentrated attack on drug driving,” he said.